The former head of the CIA and a senior Republican campaign advisor blasted a story in today’s Washington Post that suggested al-Qaida may prefer John McCain for president.
The article was poorly sourced and selectively reported to make it look like international terrorists would prefer McCain as leading the war against them, said Randy Scheunemann, the Republican campaign’s senior foreign policy adviser. It cited only one alleged posting.
Instead, he offered up statements from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and Moammar Khadafi, suggesting that they would prefer Barack Obama. He also questioned why these statements were not as prominently reported as the McCain terrorist endorsement.
The favorable comment about Obama from a Hamas spokesman “has been publicly available for several days — again, it’s the terrorist group Hamas and its spokesman — but the Washington Post didn’t find any time to write about that.”
Scheunemann said the alleged endorsement stemmed from a posting on an obscure website by an individual with no direct ties to al-Qaida. The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, “impetuous” Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier,” the message said. “Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush.”
SITE Intelligence Group, based in Bethesda, Md., monitors the Web site and translated the message. One of its analysts said the message was unusual because of the level of detailed analysis it offered on the U.S. elections.
“If al-Qaida carries out a big operation against American interests,” the message said, "this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaida. Al-Qaida then will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it.”
James Woolsey, the former head of the CIA during the Clinton administration, defended McCain’s policies in Iraq and Afghanistan and said any endorsement by al-Qaida was a ruse designed to thwart McCain’s bid.
“This individual knows that the endorsement of people like him is the kiss of death, figuratively and literally,’’ said Woolsey. “He is clearly trying to damage John McCain.”
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